Feb 5, 2024 2 min read

Megan Thee Stallion marks “beginning of a new chapter” with Warner deal

Megan Thee Stallion has signed a deal with Warner Music which will distribute and support upcoming releases via her company Hot Girl Productions. This follows the settlement of a legal dispute with the rapper’s former label 1501 Certified Entertainment last October

Megan Thee Stallion marks “beginning of a new chapter” with Warner deal
L-R: Rayna Bass (Co-President, 300 Entertainment), Desiree Perez (CEO, Roc Nation), Megan Thee Stallion, Max Lousada (CEO, Recorded Music, WMG)

Warner Music has signed what it calls an "innovative agreement" with Megan Thee Stallion - real name Megan Pete - which will give the rapper access to the major's infrastructure while allowing her to "maintain her independence as a musician". 

The new deal follows the announcement last October that Pete had finally parted company with independent label 1501 Certified Entertainment having settled a long-running legal dispute. 

Under the new agreement, Warner says, Pete will "release music through Hot Girl Productions – her independent music and entertainment entity – and simultaneously work with Warner Music and its international affiliates". She will own all the rights in her music and maintain full creative control, plus there is "the option to bring artists that are signed to her imprint into the WMG ecosystem". 

"This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter of my life and career", says the rapper. "I'm really focused on building an empire and growing as an entrepreneur, so I'm proud to take this next step in my journey and work with [WMG Recorded Music CEO] Max Lousada and the entire Warner Music Group team in this new capacity. I know we're going to create history together". 

Pete had various legal run-ins with 1501 while signed to the indie. She initially claimed her contract with the label did not follow industry norms and was heavily skewed in its favour. She also accused the label of stopping her from releasing new music. And, more recently, there was a dispute over whether or not she had delivered the three albums that the label was due under its deal.

The final legal dispute was settled last year, with 1501 stating "both Megan and 1501 are pleased to put this matter behind them and move forward with the next chapter of their respective businesses”.  A week before 1501 made that statement Pete herself declared on Instagram that she had "no label right now and we’re doing everything funded straight out of Megan Thee Stallion’s pocket".

Warner already had a connection with Pete because 1501 released her albums in partnership with 300 Entertainment, which the major acquired in 2021. So it's perhaps not surprising that the rapper chose Warner as a partner for her Hot Girl Productions company.

It is, of course, increasingly common for artists - especially established artists - to work with major labels in such a way that they own the rights in their music, with the label essentially operating as a service provider. In many cases those deals are done via an artist services division - such as Warner's ADA - though they are sometimes agreed with a frontline label, like with this deal. 

Commenting on the new partnership with Pete, Lousada says, "Meg is not just a superstar, she's an artistic force and a mogul in the making – authentic and unapologetic in defining her own unique place in the cultural landscape. So many relate to her remarkable story and have witnessed her come into her power on her own terms". 

"At Warner, we're creating an environment where original talents can explore both their creativity and entrepreneurialism, while building long-term careers", he goes on. "Following on her success with 300, we're excited to continue our journey with Meg through this dynamic new partnership, with our global teams, infrastructure and expertise supporting her every step of the way".

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